by Kevin Moore
A train is being driven along a new railway track, towards a bridge across deep river gorge.
It is a moonless night and there is thick cloud, so it is almost pitch black.
The driver cannot see anything and relies on electronic signalling and radio communication with the company office for guidance.
There is a fault in the system and it keeps relaying false signals, but the company says there is no time or money to fix the fault: the new line must be opened and income must be generated to maintain cash flow.
Most of the passengers are asleep; those who are not asleep look out the window occasionally, but they see nothing except faint lights in the distance.
One of the passengers has night-vision binoculars. He is a little surprised to see a landscape that is turning into desert, because the travel brochure mentioned only scenic pastures and forests.
Another passenger, who has a cell-phone, gets a call from a friend who says there is no bridge across the river, It had been poorly constructed and collapsed during a storm just a few hours before. The train will crash.
The passenger pulls the emergency stop cord, but finds that it does not work and the train continues as fast as ever.
He shouts at the top of his voice: «The train is going to crash!» but most of the passengers cannot be woken. The company provides free sleeping pills and complimentary alcohol on the train.
Several passengers tell him that he is causing a disturbance and should be locked up, then go back to sleep.
A number of the passengers think he could be telling the truth and want to find out, but most of them are drowsy or are tipsy.
A few passengers realise he is telling the truth and try to help him.
They decide to tell the driver.
But a gang of businessmen block the way, saying that the train cannot be slowed down and it certainly cannot be stopped, because they need to get to their destination.
The business men tell the security guard to load his gun and prepare to shoot anyone who tries to stop the train.
The passenger with the cell-phone gets another call.
His friend says: «I can see the train in the distance. It’s coming toward the ravine! There is no bridge! All the people on the train are going to die! You must stop the train!»
The passenger with the cell-phone says: «The emergency brake doesn’t work, there is a gang of businessmen stopping us getting to the driver, and there is an armed security guard. The exit doors are all locked and none of the windows can be opened. What can we do?»
What would you do in this situation?
The ‘train’ is your life.
The ‘company’ is the government*.
The ‘ravine’ is global warming, resource depletion, extinction of species, over-population, and debt
The ‘bridge’ is notional oil supplies that simply are not there.
The destination is hell on earth.
*Tony Blair, George Bush, Helen Clark, and John Howard… it makes almost no difference where you live.
Please circulate to all your friends.